Asiimwe Deborah Kawe (Playwright): Born in South Western Uganda, Asiimwe Deborah Kawe is an award winning playwright, producer and performer. Founder of Tebere Arts Foundation, which co-curates and co-produces Kampala International Theatre Festival, Asiimwe has worked with Sundance Institute leading the East Africa initiative for 6 years. She received a B. A. in Theatre at Makerere University - Uganda, and an M.F.A. in Writing for Performance from CalArts. Recent plays include; Red Hills, Will smith Look Alike, Cooking Oil, Appointment with gOD to mention but a few. Asiimwe has been a writing fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, and a guest lecturer/Artist at Pomona College.
Saheem Ali (Director): Proud immigrant from Kenya. Recent credits include Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Dangerous House (Williamstown Theater Festival), Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC), Tartuffe (Playmakers Rep), Where Storms Are Born (Williamstown), Henry V (NYU Tisch), Twelfth Night (Public Theater), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Diaspora (Gym at Judson), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane), The Booty Call (Inner Voices) and Dot (Detroit Public Theater). He has workshopped new plays at Playwrights Horizons, Playwrights Realm, MCC, New York Stage & Film, Page 73 and The Lark.
He is a Usual Suspect and former Directing Fellow at New York Theater Workshop, Sir John Gielgud SDCF Fellow and a Shubert Fellow.
Imani Champion (Stage Manager)*: Imani is an AEA stage manager and production manager based in NYC. Broadway: My Fair Lady. Off-Broadway: Public Studio: The Loophole, Mobile Unit: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Public Works: Twelfth Night, Public Works: As You Like It. Derren Brown: Secret, Marie & Rosetta (Atlantic Theater Company); Man From Nebraska (Second Stage Theater). Morocco & MASS MoCA theatre labs with the Sundance Institute. B.A. Theatre Studies, Montclair State University.
Zija Brubaker Lubin-West (Assistant Stage Manager)*: Zija has stage managed coast to coast across all types of theatre. Recent credits include: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker (ASM, West Coast Tour), Nuclear Follies (PSM, St. John’s Theatre), The Hello Girls (SM, The Goodwill Theatre in Binghamton, NY), Broadway Bares: Game Night (PA/ASM, Hammerstein Ballroom), Untold Stories of Jewish Women (SM, Museum of Jewish Herritage. ZijaLubinWest.com
Toni Ann De Noble (Crowd)*: Toni is an actress, poet & performance artist from Jersey City, NJ. Her recent credits include: “Selkie” (Dutch Kills), “The Revolving Cycles, Truly and Steadily Roll’d” (Playwrights Realm), “Wilder Gone” (Clubbed Thumb), Elementary (CBS), & Sneaky Pete (Amazon Prime). Upcoming projects are- Oculus’ VR game The Under Presents which showcased this year at Sundance, Lanre Olabisi’s film A Storybook Ending; & Her first written & directed short film A Place for Sad Face is currently making the festival circuit. MFA- Columbia University
Latoya Edwards (Kakye)*: Latoya was recently seen as Ama in the remount of School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play at MCC in NY & Center Theatre Group in LA. Her other credits include Pearl in Miss You Like Hell at The Public Theater, HAIR at Berkshire Theatre Group, Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical at Atlantic Theater Co, Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat at Adirondack Theatre Festival and Carefully Taught at Astoria PAC. Her TV/Film credits include "The Get Down", "Law & Order: SVU" and the short film "Want a Cookie?". www.latoyaedwards.nyc
Kambi Gathesha (Crowd)*: Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Kambi Gathesha is a Brooklyn-based Actor and Choreographer. He studied Acting at Juilliard and African History and Dance at Columbia University. He most recently appeared in the New York premiere of Obie-award winner Aleshea Harris’ What to Send Up When it Goes Down. Additionally, he’s appeared in As You Like It/Arden Everywhere project; Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theatre of Harlem); Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature Theatre Center); Marriage of Bette and Boo (Williamstown Theatre Festival). He’s presented his choreography at APAP, City Center, Downtown Dance Festival and Cool New York’s White Wave festival.
Paige Gilbert (Crowd)*: Paige is honored to be apart of this exploration. Her most recent credits include Off -Broadway: School Girls or The African Mean Girls Play (MCC Theater *Drama Desk Award). Film & TV: Late Night , ADAM, “The Deuce,” and “High Maintenance”.
Christian O. Jiménez (Crowd)*: Off Broadway: Ain’t No Mo’ (Public Studio). Readings/Workshops: Lyons Pride (Playwrights Realm), I Have Loved Strangers & The Odyssey (LCT Director’s Lab). Other NYC Credits: Big Green Theater 8.0 (The Bushwick Starr), Elements of Change (Hypokrit Theatre). Regional: NC Symphony, National Black Theatre Festival, Peppercorn Theatre. Training: UNCSA (BFA Drama c/o ’17). Upcoming: Packrat (Concrete Temple Theatre) & Big Green Theater 9.0 (The Bushwick Starr).
Abena Mensah-Bonsu (gOD 1)*: Off-Broadway: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (MCC Theater, *Drama Desk Award). Additional NYC: Ragtime (Ellis Island staging), How the Light Gets In - Water is Life (NYMF). Regional: School Girls… (Center Theatre Group), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Oregon Cabaret), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Zach Theatre). Former mainstage vocalist for Disney Cruise Line. Abena also performs with singer-songwriter, Te'La. TV: “Orange is the New Black”, “Daredevil”, “The Other Two”. @a.bonsu
Adepero Oduye (Achan)*: Adepero, who gave a breakout performance as the star of Dee Rees’ PARIAH, hails from Brooklyn, New York by way of Nigeria and is a Cornell University graduate. Her film credits include THE BIG SHORT and TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE. Theater credits include Mfoniso Udofia's "Her Portmanteau" at The New York Theater Workshop (2017), and “The Trip to Bountiful” on Broadway. Upcoming: Ava Duvernay's CENTRAL PARK FIVE for Netflix. In 2014, she wrote and directed her first short film, BREAKING IN. TO BE FREE, her second short film as director and writer, has recently been added into the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's permanent collection.
Michael Oloyede (Man 2)*: Michael is best known as ‘Blue’ on BET Digital’s “Brooklyn.Blue.Sky.” and was named “New Actor of the Year” at 2018’s Igrushi Black Excellence Gala in Atlanta. Off-Broadway credits include:Eco Village (Theater at St Clements), SCRAPS, Inanimate (The Flea Theater), Chokehold (14th Street Y), Black Angels Over Tuskegee (St. Luke’s Theater). Film/TV: Curtis (SundanceNow), First, Thinking of the West, Love Letter, Untitled (Sun to Mutha), The Black Boy and the Tree, Silent Morning, Fate, Netflix’s “Maniac.” Thanks to Headline Talent and Prevail Artist Management. Michael-Oloyede.com
Allison Strickland (gOD 2)*: Allison is a performer and visual artist with a focus on where Spirituality, Creativity, and Healing meet. She has worked at several regional theatres including Syracuse Stage, Seattle Rep, and Seattle Shakespeare Company. This past fall her visual work was presented in a Swan Feather produced evening to honor “Strength in Spirit” with proceeds going to the New London public school lunch system. She is a believer that Art is Medicine and that we are ALL creators. For more info and updates please visit allisonstrickland.com